We're full into the holiday season, which means everyone is either on vacation or at an office party. Here's a trade secret from the world of newspapers: The real reason you see so many year-in-review and prediction articles in both trade and mainstream press is because writers can never reach sources during the last two weeks of every year.
Everyone else is on vacation or holding an office party, it seems.
Much of these year-in-review pieces are completely skip-able. The prediction pieces are fun and intriguing, but rarely remembered and so useless.
Still, there are worthwhile exceptions, such as today's article in Enterprise Systems. "The Year in Review, The Year Ahead" manages that rare feat of offering both useful reflections from 2007 and insightful predictions for 2008 on data integration and business intelligence.
The first part talks about the buyouts in business intelligence and performance management. That's a big yawner, so I'll sum up: No pure-play BIs, dashboards are pretty, yada, yada, yada.
Skip on down to the fun stuff, which, for my money, begins at the section subtitled, "Data Integration Still Front and Center." Here you'll find a nice wrap-up on major vendors that updated or, through acquisition, solidified their data-integration offerings.
But the predictions about what we can expect next in data integration are even more useful. Here's a summary:
Of course, if the article is correct and all these people join data-quality teams, then I'm going to go out on a limb here and throw out a fourth prediction of my own: 4. You'll hear more about the need for a chief data officer in the new year. I feel pretty confident about this, and not just because we're always hearing about how companies need another new CXO.
First, it makes sense. Data increasingly is the lifeblood for enterprises, whether you're dealing with sales or customers or actual product fulfillment. And when you have a team of high-salary workers grouped together to address an ongoing business challenge, it makes sense that there'd be an executive-level person overseeing that function.
Second, there's precedence, since this role already exists in a few -- or, to be precise, at least three -- companies, including one in the financial sector, according to Wikipedia. In fact, this role is so new, you can still find old press releases announcing that Dr. Usama Fayyad was named the first chief data officer of Yahoo In 2005 -- a title he still holds.